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Chinese coal stocks at coastal utilities drop

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World Coal,

China's six major coastal power utilities saw drops in both coal consumption and stocks, due mainly to decreased power consumption and adverse weather conditions.

As of 20 August, the six utilities' thermal coal stocks totaled 14.62 million t, dipping below the 15 million t mark for fifth straight day, showed data from industry portal sxcoal.

It was 566 000 t or 3.7% lower than the month-ago level and the lowest since 26 June this year, according to the data.

Shanghai Electric Power Co., Ltd and Datang Group posted the sharpest decline, with stocks slumping 45.9% and 25% from the preceding month to 165 000 t and 1.05 million t on 20 August.

Analysts pointed out the temporary fall of stocks was not because of utilities' destocking activities but shipping delay of vessels bound for northern ports amid adverse weather at the Bohai-rim ports.

The landing of typhoon in coastal regions has impeded prevented ships from berthing at ports. Analysts expected coal stocks to recover to above 15 million t again after the adverse weather.

With increased rainfalls in South China, major coastal power producers saw their daily coal burns fall below 800 000 t. The decline of power demand from households amid cooling weather further dented the spot coal market.

Coal-fired power plants are expected to mainly rely on term contract coal to meet their demand, pointing to a weaker spot market in the short run.

On 20 August, the six power generators' daily coal burns stood at 741 000 t, staying below the 800 000 t mark for sixth consecutive day, down by 6.4% from a month earlier.

Their stocks could cover 19.7 days of use, up by 0.5 day on the month.

Coal stocks at key utilities nationwide dropped to 68.67 million t as of 5 August, down by 8.7% from 2 July, which was enough to cover 16 days, down four days.

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